Benefits of Supervision

To those people who have regular supervision there is no debate – supervision changes everything.

The most important benefit is that it provides the time and the space for reflective practice to develop and become part of the normal day to day of practice. 

Having reflective space enables us as practitioners to work out what just happened and how that made us feel. It encourages us to listen deep and long to our bodies and to our feelings. You can’t create feelings they happen before our brains have got into gear. If we react to a person or an event we are missing vital information about our own wellbeing if we take no notice of the reaction and understand where it came from. 

One example of this might be if you receive an email from a particular client and immediately feel sick before you have even read the email – just seeing their name is enough to trigger the feeling. What is that about? What feelings are engendered? Where do they stem from? What can be done about the situation? These questions and more can be explored fully within supervision. And this is but one example of the myriad instances that arise in each working day when we will feel angry, frustrated, elated, uncertain, helpless, content and so on. 

Supervision is a space to talk about our relationships, good and bad, with clients, colleagues and other professionals alike. It will allow us to review where we are on our career paths and ponder whether changes need to be made – what is life giving about what we do? what is draining? 

Anything that is work related can be explored and reflected on in supervision.

The best advertisement for supervision is from those people who have it. Here is what some of them say:

...They so often gives me a new perspective on clients and on myself. I think it will ultimately make me a better colleague and lawyer (hopefully already has).

I chose to have supervision because the idea of having a space to reflect on cases really appealed to me. So much of the day is spent ‘firefighting’ and jumping between files that there never seems to be time to think about what has happened or how it has made us feel. Also, I think what often happens in our world if we are not super aware of ourselves emotionally is that we take on our clients’ stresses/dysfunction which can then spill out onto our colleagues in a way that is really counterproductive and damaging. I have also always been really interested in the therapeutic side of family law so I was very open to the idea from the start and suspected it was something I would get a lot out of. I have got so much out of the sessions, probably more than I imagined. The feeling of support – from [my supervisor] and also the directors at [my firm]– and the fact [my firm] provides and pays for the supervision makes me feel like the firm genuinely invests in and cares about our wellbeing and recognises the benefit to everyone in its employees feeling happy and centred at work. Just knowing that [my supervisor] is there to speak to about difficult clients or interactions is invaluable. They so often gives me a new perspective on clients and on myself. I think it will ultimately make me a better colleague and lawyer (hopefully already has). 

For me, an intervention to reconfigure my mindset in working with clients, emerging more confident...

For me, an intervention to reconfigure my mindset in working with clients, emerging more confident and I think competent to help clients achieve worthwhile change.

An invaluable mix of assisted self-reflection, discussion around how to unpick those every day knots whilst ...

An invaluable mix of assisted self-reflection, discussion around how to unpick those every day knots whilst providing you with a tool box of strategies for managing the ups and downs of practice. 

... It’s really important to be able to talk through why things affect us the way they do and work out the best coping strategies. ...

Having supervision sessions with [my supervisor] is of immeasurable benefit. We are juggling so many parts in this job – and you can end up feeling responsible for your clients’ finances, home lives and emotional and psychological well-being. Of course this has an effect on our own emotional and psychological wellbeing and if we ignore this we will hit breaking point sooner or later. It’s really important to be able to talk through why things affect us the way they do and work out the best coping strategies. Having someone there, who is independent to talk to and gives you space to discuss these matters in a vacuum is such a relief. I know I’m a better practitioner for it.